Friday 10 July
Update 14 December: In line with government guidance, the Tower of London will be closed from 16 December.
The Tower of London will re-open this Friday, 10 July, after a 16-week closure in response to the Covid-19 pandemic – the longest since the Second World War. The famous fortress, which is the biggest paid-for visitor attraction in the UK, will celebrate the re-opening with a special ceremony on Friday morning – lowering a drawbridge to officially welcome back visitors.
A range of measures have been put in place to make sure visitors have a safe and enjoyable trip to the Tower, including plenty of hand sanitiser dispensers, and a new one way route to ensure social distancing. The Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) can’t yet restart their famous tours, but will be on hand to answer any questions about the history of the palace they call home – they have plenty of new tales to tell about life at the Tower during lockdown. The Crown Jewels exhibition will be re-opening with social distancing measures in place – providing a unique opportunity to see the stunning treasures close-up, without the crowds. Finally, the Tower’s ravens – the ultimate national insurance policy – will be present and getting used to welcoming visitors to the fortress again!
Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that cares for the Tower of London, is hoping visitors will show their support for its national treasures by returning for a visit this Summer. The charity is dependent on visitor income and facing a £98 million shortfall in its finances following the pandemic. The return of visitors will make a vital contribution to the charity’s work caring for the Tower and sharing its stories with the public.
Brigadier Andrew Jackson, Governor, The Tower of London, said,
‘We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to the Tower this Friday. It’s our visitors that really bring the Tower to life; we usually welcome 3 million every year, so the Tower has seemed empty and eerily quiet without them for the past 3 months. The team have put a huge amount of work into creating a safe new experience for our visitors, so that they can still enjoy all of our highlights – from the Crown Jewels, to the Norman splendour of the White Tower.
This is a unique opportunity to see the nation’s greatest treasures without the usual crowds and we are hoping to entice lots of domestic visitors to pay us a visit this summer. Their support has never been more necessary - each visit is an important contribution to help us maintain this wonderful building for generations to come.’
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Notes to editors
For further information and images please contact the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office: [email protected] or telephone: 0203 166 6166.
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle and Gardens under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk